Standard Sounds

Rosie Vacci B Is Here To Teach You Garage 101

Drop #2 from Half Moon's Sound Off series is coming at you from across the pond, with a feel-good and freeing mix of UK Garage from 21-year-old DJ Rosie Vacci B. Here, Rosie breaks down the genre for us, with some of her favorite and most inspiring songs, the influence of Black music in the United Kingdom, and the three UK Garage tracks every American should learn.
Tell us a little about yourself! Where youโ€™re from and how did you learn to DJ?
My name is Rosie Vacci B and I am a 21-year-old DJ/radio presenter from Nottingham (a small city in England). Growing up, music was really important to me and I started to become interested in what was being produced in my hometown, in the UK the bulk of music, especially in rap and it's sub-genres, is produced in London and much of the opportunities in the creative industries are held there. Artists often become huge names in their smaller cities but can't break into the mainstream, this is why I originally got into radio presenting because I wanted to champion music being created outside the capital. During lockdown number 1 (we are on 3 and counting here) I ordered a mixer and began practicing, and almost a year later I'm here!

Weโ€™re so excited to have a UK Garage mix from you! Tell us a little about where the mix takes us and what you love about the genre?
I created this mix as a Garage 101 for beginners, it covers everything from the classics to Soundcloud gems and refixes of some American anthems. I wanted to give a whole experience that would hopefully have something for everyone even if they hadn't listened to any Garage before. What I love about Garage is that it's feel-good music, it's a dance genre so for me you can't listen to it and not be inspired to get up and let loose. I also find it quite freeing, a lot of it is based around samples and recreating what already exists giving it a new spin, so most songs can get the Garage treatment.  

What are 3 UKG tracks that you think every American should listen to?
Daffy - 4Ever. Lil Mo' 4Ever ft. Fabolous is one of my favourite songs of all time and this Garage refix brings happy tears to my eyes! A perfect example of how anything can become a Garage hit.

Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett - Gabriel (Live Garage Version) An absolute classic, this song reminds me of summer days!

Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers (Sunship Edit). Another classic, this is being remixed to this day. It reminds me of being in primary school (elementary), good times!
We are gassed to honour Black History Month with you and music. The legacy of Black Music in Britain is something weโ€™d love to hear more about on this side of the pond! Being from the UK- is there anything youโ€™d like to say on this?
The Black population in the UK is much smaller than that of America (we make up roughly 3%) and many moved here only in the past 70 years or so. A lot of people my age are still only first or second generation and are still very aware of their heritage, this has transferred across to the music being produced in the UK. Artists often include their culture in their tracks using sounds and dialects from the Caribbean and Africa.

Black music has been highly influential in the UK, in the 80's Ska was massive and crossed over into the mainstream, in the 90's and early 2000's Garage and Drum and Bass were huge and in recent years we've seen Afro Beats and UK Rap hit the charts. Right now, Drill (influenced by the Chicago Drill scene) is big here and has become one of the most popular Rap sub-genres.

When do you think your love for music began?
That's a really hard question, growing up my mum used to play a lot of R&B and US Rap so from an early age I have fond memories of listening to Mariah Carey in the car. But I think the first time I actively engaged with music was when I was around 8-years-old and Rihanna dropped her first album Good Girl Gone Bad, I had it on CD and it was on REPEAT, I loved everything about her and convinced myself I was going to be the next princess of R&B.

Some favourite artists of all time?
Dizzee Rascal for sure! His debut album 'Boy In Da Corner' was one of the founding albums of Grime and pushed it into the public consciousness. He won a Mercury Prize for it in 2003 and he's still making music now, a legend! Jaykae, another grime artist, his music is very raw and he raps in his Brummy accent which I love, a lot of UK rappers tried to hide their accents for a period of time and the Birmingham one isn't the most popular but Jaykae keeps it real! He also jumps on a lot of Garage tunes which I love. Kanye West, thought I'd throw in a US artist, I actually don't listen to much of his new music but College Dropout is such a masterpiece and has had a huge impact on me, I'm pretty sure it got me through my degree I had no idea what I was doing in college, that major that I majored in didn't make any money but I couldn't drop out my parents would look at me funny!
Whatโ€™s something you are looking forward to in 2021?
I am looking forward to new music and new opportunities to share it with the world! I'd like to say playing live but we'll have to see whether events are able to happen this year. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the summertime and seeing friends again, I'm wishing on every star that Nottinghill Carnival will go ahead and I'll be able to dance in the streets once more! 

If you could say one thing to your future self- what would it be?
I'd say enjoy the journey and don't stress, this past year has been the most challenging yet I've been able to achieve so much. In the future, I hope I can look back and think "if I made it through 2020 I can make it through anything."

Anything else you want to say? The floor Is yours!
I'd just like to say that I feel so privileged to be a part of this, Black History Month in the UK is in October but of course, we shouldn't limit expressing our cultures, learning our histories and experiencing appreciation of who we are to one month. The global unity following the death of George Floyd was something I'd never seen before, in the UK racism is suppressed, the view being "it's not that bad here", the Black Lives Matter marches we had and the movement as a whole highlighted the institutional and societal racism that does exist in the UK and forced our government, institutions, companies and White Brits' to face the global oppression of Black people both home and away. It reminded me that although we may be separated by seas and land we are all connected, and the Black experience is universal. I hope that in the years to follow we can spend more time celebrating ourselves and being given the freedom to live our lives without having to fight simply for equality. 

Click here to listen to Rosie's set for Half Moon x The Standard Sound Off


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